At this time, an estimated 6,600 customers are currently without gas service in Newport. National Grid has informed the City that there are presently over 400 people on the ground going door-to-door to shut off natural gas service to affected properties. At households with outside gas meters, crews will be able to shut off service without homeowners present. However, in cases where meters are located inside a house or building, crews will require access to the property and will make every effort possible to contact property owners to arrange entry.
National Grid anticipates that it will take another three days to fully shut down the system, and another four days to bring it back online. Newport residents without heat should make it a priority to seek alternate accommodations through the duration of the event. For lodging assistance, Discover Newport is currently compiling a list of all available hotel rooms in the City. An updated tally can be found on the Discover Newport blog, at https://www.discovernewport.org/…/post/national-grid-gas-o…/. National Grid will be refunding residents who need to book a hotel or AirBnB during the outage, and a downloadable Refund Form is currently available on National Grid’s website, at www.NationalGridUS.com/Aquidneck-Island. For those who can’t afford a hotel, vouchers are available through the Gaudet Middle School warming shelter.
For those in need of assistance, the City has arranged for charter bus service to shuttle people who may need transportation. Anyone needing transportation should call the Newport Fire Department hotline at (401) 845-5934.
The Newport Public Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the week. Services for the School’s backpack programs for Pell Elementary School families, as well as a place to provide food services beginning tomorrow morning for those families impacted is being coordinated and an update on times and locations will be provided as plans are finalized.
Beginning Wednesday, January 23rd, Pell School staff will be distributing their backpack food program to all the regular participants at the Pell school lobby tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. Any additional families in need of assistance can come at 2:30 p.m. and food will be distributed on a first come first served basis until 3:30 p.m.
Also starting tomorrow, Chartwells will be serving meals at the Florence Gray Center from 7:30-9:00 a.m. for breakfast, and 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. for lunch.
Meanwhile, Middletown customers can expect to see re-lighting operations commence this evening at approximately 6 p.m.
In City business:
Newport City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, January 23rd, while the City Council’s regular meeting scheduled for later in the day at 6:30 p.m. has been cancelled.
A special Waterfront Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 24th concerning the City’s updated Harbor Ordinance is also being rescheduled
In addition to local resources, the governor has activated the National Guard and State Police to assist in the emergency response. Please note that this is an unprecedented event and we’re urging residents to check in on friends and neighbors who might be impacted by the outage. Warming Centers at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown will remain open throughout the night.
We’ll continue to update this page throughout the duration of the outage.
If you have any immediate concerns, please dial 2-1-1. And once again, if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for the City’s Code Red alert system to be notified of any further updates on the City’s website at https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/ED2357CE5BE2